clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Series Preview: Angels @ A's - Battle for 1st

New, 10 comments

The Angels head to Oakland to take on the 1st Place A's

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Proving how fickle the early baseball season can be, The Angels head to Oakland to take on the only team with a worse on base percentage over the past week, yet somehow a team that sits atop the AL West.

After a series split with the Rangers, it sure would taste sweet to get our first series win and start the momentum train rolling.  In 2015, The Angels won the series with Oakland 11 games to 7.

Biggest question:  Can the Angels lift themselves above .500?

Game 1
Nick Tropeano vs. Sonny Gray
Monday, April 11, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Tropeano benefits from Andrew Heaney's DL stint and gets the nod in the series opener.  Gray notched a win with an impressive first start against the White Sox last week.

Nick Tropeano v. Oakland A's (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 12.2 1 1 16 .174 0.71
Sonny Gray v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
5 33.2 16 1 26 .208 3.74
Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Sonny Gray (2015)
AB H R SO BA
14 1 1 5 .071
Albert Pujols v. Sonny Gray (2015)
AB H R HR BA
15 5 4 1 .333
Tropeano couldn't have asked for a better team to pitch against in his 2016 debut.  He pretty much decimated the A's in 2016.  I mean seriously - 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings?  Sonny Gray, however, has pitched well against the Angels, so hopefully Tropeano gets some run support and even better would be for Trout to break out of his Sonny Gray slump.
VERDICT: Most likely a low scoring game unless the Angels can get to Gray early.   This is a pretty even matchup with the edge going to the Angels.

Game 2
Hector Santiago vs. Kendall Graveman
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Santiago enters the game at 1-0 while Graveman lost his first start of 2016, despite giving up only 2 runs.

Hector Santiago v. Oakland A's (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
4 20 12 4 22 .224 4.95
Kendall Graveman v. Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 11 4 1 9 .279 0.245
Players/Stats to watch:
Albert Pujols v. Kendall Graveman (2015)
AB H R HR BA
6 4 2 1 .667
Graveman was hit or miss against the Angels last season pitching only 3 innings in April, but then he pitched to an 8-inning loss where he only gave up 1 run in June.  Santiago was not great and was not horrible against the 2015 A's, though his bad stats mostly arise from an August game where he went 2.2 innings and threw almost 80 pitches
VERDICT: How about #561 Pujols?

Game 3

Matt Shoemaker vs. Eric Surkamp
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Shoemaker pitched pretty horrible in his 2016 debut (lasting only 3 innings) and none of the current Angels have ever faced Surkamp before (aside from a Craig Gentry walk).

Matt Shoemaker v. Oakland A's (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
5 25.1 32 5 17 .299 6.04
Players/Stats to watch:
Marus Semiem v. Matt Shoemaker (2015)
AB H R HR BA
17 5 3 1 .417
Stephen Vogt v. Matt Shoemaker (2015)
AB H R HR BA
12 3 3 2 .250

Fortunately for the Angels, Eric Surkamp hasn't started a major league game since 2011 and only has 61 big league innings under his belt.  Shoemaker has not pitched well against the A's and considering his start last week, it doesn't exactly instill confidence in a Halo win.  The A's, especially Stephen Vogt, like to take Shoemaker deep so hopefully he can keep the ball in the park and the Angels can attack Surkamp early.

VERDICT: Shoemaker needs to find his stuff fast or we may be on the losing end of this matchup, especially given our lethargic offense to date.